Battery maker Redflow has named an ex-telco boss as its new chief and shifted its existing CEO back to his former role as COO.

Redflow (ASX:RFX) enticed Tim Harris from his role as COO at New Zealand telecommunications company Chorus. Before that he worked with British telco BT.

The company has already indicated that its future lies with supplying energy storage units to the telco sector, after it moved production facilities from Mexico to Thailand late last year to be closer to telco customers in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific.

Redflow signed its first major deal in May 2017 with New Zealand telco infrastructure provider Hitech Solutions.

Redflow shares over the last six months.

Mr Harris’s job will be to focus on the company’s growth and commercialisation.

The company gave no indication that it had been looking for a new CEO.

It appointed COO Richard Aird to the top job in September when major shareholder and acting CEO Simon Hackett stepped down.

An executive services agreement published to the market in January indicated that the company viewed Mr Aird as a long term bet: he’d be paid $300,000 a year as a salary as CEO and managing director, a short term bonus of up to $150,000, and long term incentives of 5 million performance rights.

Mr Aird returns to the COO role, where Redflow says he “will continue his successful work in driving cost-downs, optimisations and quality improvements in the supply-chain and manufacturing process”.

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Redflow chairman Brett Johnson said the board had sought a CEO with the skills and experience to lead the company as it ramps up production from the new factory in Thailand.
“It’s a happy coincidence that Tim’s management skills come from the telecom sector, which is a key market for Redflow,” he said.
“Richard accepted the CEO role during the vital transition of production from North America to Thailand, but wants a position that enables him to focus on ensuring the success of the new factory while Tim adds new skills that can help us take Redflow to the next level.”

Shares in the company were flat on Tuesday morning at 12.5c.